38“…not more aggressive or less motivated…very balanced…Because there is no reason to be demotivated, nor to be super-motivated. It’s a good thing to be balanced because each side of the scale, the negative and the positive, can cause you to make mistakes…excessive desire to do something, or less desire…” Ivan Basso, Italian Pro
Basso describes a balance point between arousal and relaxation to set up a winning mentality. Like a dressage horse – a highly trained blue blood who prances through complex changes of gait in response to gentle pressure from a rider’s thigh or soft rein, champions have highly sensitized self-knowledge to maintain equilibrium.
Bike racing asks many questions to strike this balance point, such as: plan a season with a peak or shoot for consistency? Drink my whole bottle or sip in case I miss a feed? Correct a fit problem with a position change or address the kinetic dysfunction? This kind of action–reaction symmetry delivers championship outcomes. The balance point of championship presence thinks through cause and effect of one’s activity in the peloton: use of force or act of aggression? Loss of energy or emotional motivator? Intimidating language or instigation?
“Psyche-out” technique isn’t the same as championship presence. Self-control of one’s own thoughts and actions characterize the presence of a champion more than wasting energy trying to mess with the minds of others. Etiquette is important. Everybody can ride a bike but the elite race with refinement at the level of Grand Tour. Competitors see one another often: it doesn’t pay to waste energy trying to control others. Someone truly strong instead expends in controlling positive self-talk, practical strategic decisions, and tight preparation for every variable. This is sustainable AND surpasses winning. Champions are built from within on a foundation of talent and effort with solid support frameworks that are the qualities for an attractive exterior. Such castles are fit for kings, such armor made for warriors.
Prayer for Self-Control
“…let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” 391Thessalonians 5:8
We are grateful that moderation indicates mastery. We pray for temperance as an aspect of championship presence.
Ponder Where am I outta control? Affirm I balance what I can control and release what I cannot. Watch your scales from tipping too far to one side and see this inner justice manifest as liberating presence.
38“Ivan Basso exclusive: Discovering the Basso era,” An interview with Ivan Basso – Page 1, January 29, 2007 http://www.cyclingnews.com
39The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society